Cape york, Rooftop or ground tent ?

We're planning a trip to Cape York and wondering if we should invest in a rooftop tent or is safe to go up in a conventional 4 man ground tent. The missus is concerned about crocs and frankly so am I. Any advice/experience appreciated.

Thanks Joker
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 12:20

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 12:20
Hi Joker,

Ground tent OK but do not pitch it within 100m of a watercourse.
200m if you want to feel safer.

Do not know if anyone has ever been taken from a tent, but the above is the general safety recommendation.

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Greg H (NT) - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 13:19

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 13:19
Mate.

Just sprinkle pepper all around your tent. When a croc comes up to it, it will start to sneeze. Just move away from the noise. No problems.
If camping near the river just make sure that there is a food source (tent) between you and the river.
Why spend extra on a roof top when you have a tent. Just take the precautions and enjoy.


Cheers

Greg
AnswerID: 493390

Reply By: Member - Hunjy (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 15:57

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 15:57
Joker
We have just come back from the cape and if you camp in the recognised areas then there is no problems at all. But if you bushcamp in croc areas just camp up on an embankement or well back from the water.
when we saw a croc in the sea out from Mutee Heads a local just said to keep the fire going all night.
We never saw any slide marks in the places we camped just use commonsense and once your up there and camped in croc areas a few times you will get tuned in to where you can or cannot camp.

cheers
Mal
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Follow Up By: Member - OnYaBike - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 19:34

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 19:34
We camped a couple of nights at the mouth of the Jardine River where there is a 1m drop to the beach and we were 20m back from that. Kept a fire going in front of the camp at night as a precaution. Or maybe that would help a croc find us.

At one time I was considering a roof top tent but didn't fancy packing it up every time i wanted to go for a drive. And I love to camp under a tarp where possible.
The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 16:23

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 16:23
As per Mal, no real issue in main areas so we probably need to know about what your intending.

Rooftop tent is usually more secure , but we have setup our Patrol for sleeping in and this is a more secure enviroment and allows you greater flexibility in camping.
It even protects from snoring nearby campers.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Hunjy (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 19:50

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 19:50
Robin
If sleeping in your patrol how do you go with ventilation in regards to mosses, midges etc.
Mal
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 20:36

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 20:36
A couple of stratergies Mal.

We have made up flywire covers that slip over the passenger windows (these are next to your head when sleeping) . These ae held in place with Velcro tabs (only needed in wind).

When closing the doors of cars carefully you may notice that there are 2 clicks , the first catch holds the door loosely and some air can seep around the door seals, we leave the doors in this position normally , and only fully close in stormy weather.
We have slimline weather shields over the 4 main car doors and this provides rain proof ventalation at all times with windows just down 2 inches.

We can also turn on the cars fan and pressurize the cabin - but this is only rarely used, in fact the only time I remeber doing this is on the hottest day ever recorded in an Australian city when Melb. got to 46c - we sleep in car with fan & Aircon on.

The car is always aboutt 3 degrees warmer than outside with typical ventilation.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Hunjy (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 21:01

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 21:01
Just thinking of the fly wire covers you made up got me thinking about the shade covers you slip over the windows to stop the sun on the kids, this also is good ventilation.
Food for thought now thanks robin.
Mal
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Reply By: Tonyfish#58 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 16:56

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 16:56
IF YOU ARE WORRIED AND IF YOU WANT TO BE SAFE, GO FOR THE ROOF TOP TENT.

We chose this option after being camped in the bay around the corner from this incident on the same weekend, They were quite some way from the water as well

Bathurst Bay, north Queensland, October 2004 - Crocidile Attacks

2nd Story

A group of three Brisbane families were on their annual 4WD camping holiday to far north Queensland where every year for the past five years they had camped at Bathurst Bay, about 250 km. north of Cooktown.
Diane and Andrew Kerr and their three month old baby were sleeping in their tent on the beach when they were woken up by a noise, Diane looked through the netting of the tent and said; there's a croc! As Andrew rose the 4.2 metre crocodile lunged forward, grabbed him by the legs and started dragging him away. His concern was still with the baby that slept in the tent with them and while he was in the crocodile's jaws he kept yelling 'GET THE BABY! GET THE BABY!' His wife grabbed the cot with the baby in one hand and held on to her husband's hand with the other but the 300 kg. crocodile continued to drag him outside the tent. 60 year old grandmother Alicia Sorohan and her husband Bill were camping nearby and when they heard the screams they rushed over to find their friend Andrew being dragged towards the sea. The supergranny then leaped on the crocodile's head, causing him to let go of Andrew but now the crocodile turned on her, grabbing her by the arm. Fortunately Alicia's son Jason had now appeared on the scene who had a gun and he shot the crocodile through the head. They then set off a rescue beacon that alerted Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers in the area who sent a helicopter to evacauate them to an airport from where the Royal Flying Doctors could fly them to Cairns hospital. Andrew had injuries to his legs and body and was believed to be in a serious condition, while Alicia had injuries to her arm and upper body and face. The male crocodile was estimated to be about fifty years old.
Supergranny Alicia was later awarded a bravery medal at a ceremony in Cairns that was also attended by croc crazy Steve Irwin. He also received Alicia as a guest of honour at his Australia Zoo.
See her interview here in this movie

Why not be safe :-)

Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 493402

Follow Up By: kev.h - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 18:57

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 18:57
"sleeping in their tent on the beach " how stupid is that in croc country everything I've read said that's a no no if you set yourself up as bait expect to get bit
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Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 20:01

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 20:01
Kev - They were quite some way from the high tide line, this croc came quite a way from the water to do this.

I have just come back from this area and their was numerous camps as close as they were and there was a 4m croc getting around.

I have camped many a time as close as they were to the water and had no issue.

The issue is that the crocs are getting less worried about human presence and are getting a lot bolder.

I am with Mick the Crocodile Man, time to turn a few into handbags - The 4m one that kept raiding our crab pots and stalk us up the beach in the evening would be the first handbag.

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Regards Tony
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 17:16

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 17:16
Rooftop tent is just the best! No dirt in the tent and great thermal barrier in the floor, very warm in winter and plenty of windows to open in the summer But you need to be a little agile to jump up on the wheels to unzip the cover and pack back up! It does take a little bit of effort! My wife refused to camp in a ground level tent anymore but it changed a few years ago with a roof tent! There is a down side with not being able to move the vehicle unless you pack up, but for daily touring, there is nothing better.. if tenting is what you do!!! Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

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AnswerID: 493405

Reply By: Kiwi100 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 22:07

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 22:07
We tented it, with no problems. You can't fall down a ladder when you're already on the ground ;)

The only worry was being camped on a beachfront, a level crawl from water in which a croc had been spotted cruising during the day. We turned in with a spade and an axe at hand. The biggest worry was that one of us would half-wake to a sound and whack the other.

Michael

PS There was one other worry: some drunken clowns were mucking around nearby with a firearm one night. Woud've been less happy perched up on the roof than down on the ground, but the fabric ain't bulletproof either way (reported the dills to the Coen police a couple of days later).
AnswerID: 493427

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 22:31

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012 at 22:31
If sticking to the main tourist routes Joker & camping with the mass's you will have no problem with crocs. In fact you will be surprised how many places it is safe to swim. The majority on the cape use tents & swags so i wouldn't be specially buying a roof top tent for this trip, particually with all the downsides. (Access, fuel consumption, unable to base camp, centre of gravity, storage, pack up wet canvas on matress etc...)
Cheers Craig.................
AnswerID: 493428

Reply By: Joker - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 08:44

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 08:44
Thanks for your advice guys. I'm about to buy either a rhino flat pack roof rack (so I can fit it under the roller doors) for a rooftop tent, or just the 2 bar system to put an awning on.

Cheers

Joker
AnswerID: 493438

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